THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 11

feature

Q&A:
Chairman Chatterjee

C

hairman Neil Chatterjee was nominated to the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission (FERC) by President Trump in May 2017 and
confirmed by the U.S. Senate in August 2017. Prior to joining FERC,
he was energy policy advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell (R-Ky.). 

Given your extensive background on
energy issues, are there any specific issues
you intend to focus your attention on
while on the Commission?
My first priority as Chairman is to
work through the backlog of cases that
accumulated during the six months when the
Commission lacked a quorum. I'm committed
to working with my colleagues to make
progress on the backlog and, in particular, to
evaluate the proposed infrastructure projects
pending before the Commission. I am also
committed to the resilience and reliability
of our electric system, which is essential
to national security. Finally, cybersecurity
will always be a priority for me and for the
Commission.
What do you think public gas systems
should understand about FERC that they
may not appreciate now?
Public gas systems should understand
that FERC is focused on authorizing needed
infrastructure to serve natural gas needs.
When analyzing proposed natural gas
infrastructure projects, the Commission looks
at whether there is a market need for the
natural gas, as shown by signed contracts
with shippers/customers. The Commission
does not look at the end use for the natural
gas (direct or other). One of the Commission's
primary statutory responsibilities is also
to protect consumers by ensuring that
rates and terms and conditions of service

on interstate natural gas pipelines are
just and reasonable and not unduly
discriminatory. On a personal note, your
members may not know that I previously
worked for the National Rural Electric
Cooperative Association (NRECA). While
working for NRECA, I gained a familiarity
and appreciation for the issues facing small
utilities, many of which I am sure are similar
to the issues facing some of your members.
What role do you anticipate natural gas
playing in our energy future?
With the shale revolution, we have been
blessed in this country with abundant
natural gas for many needs, both for direct
use customers and for electric generation.
I anticipate natural gas continuing to be
an important part of a diverse fuel mix for
electric generation.
What role do you see the direct-use of
natural gas playing in the future?
Direct use of natural gas is an important
element in the array of energy sources
needed to meet our nation's demand for
energy. The Commission is committed to
ensuring that interstate natural gas pipeline
rates and services are just and reasonable
and not unduly discriminatory for all uses
of natural gas, including direct use. Under
this legislative mandate, the Commission
does not look at the end use of natural gas
(direct use or other), but ensures that rates
and services are not unduly discriminatory
to any type of customer or end use.

FAIZAL RAMLI/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

The vast majority of APGA members are
captive to one pipeline, what role can
the Commission play in ensuring just and
reasonable rates as required under the
Natural Gas Act?
The Commission ensures just and
reasonable rates are in place for all interstate
natural gas pipelines to protect customers,
including those who are captive to one
pipeline. The Commission reviews the
initial rates for new pipeline companies, as
well as any proposed changes to existing
rates and services. In addition, Commission
staff conducts annual reviews of interstate
natural gas pipeline company financial data.
If that review indicates that a company is
significantly over-recovering its costs, the
Commission has instituted a Natural Gas Act
section 5 proceeding directing the company
to show cause that its rates continue to
be just and reasonable. I understand the
Commission initiated two such section 5
proceedings in the past year. I appreciate the
APGA's public support for this program.
APGA and others have supported FERC
taking additional actions to make price
indices more robust (AD17-12). Do you
think FERC should follow up on this
summer's technical conference?
There are a variety of open proceedings
that were initiated prior to my arrival at the
Commission, and I commend Commissioner
LaFleur and FERC staff for continuing
the work of the Commission during the
past six months. The Commission hosted
a technical conference on June 29 to
explore natural gas index liquidity and
transparency issues. I intend to closely
review and consider the record developed
in this proceeding, including the comments
filed by stakeholders such as APGA. I look
forward to consulting with my colleagues on
these issues and to engaging in a dialogue
with APGA members and others on this
important topic.
THE SOURCE | WINTER 2017, VOL. 10, ISSUE 2 11



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Winter 2017

A Vision from Our Industry: Listen, Define, Allocate, Execute
First Person
APGA Events
Q&A: Chairman Chatterjee
Furnace Rule Update
Delivering the Needs of Customers Through Legislative Action
Reaching Your Future Customers
Whistling In The Dark: Shortcomings of Natural Gas Indices Persist
Growth in Renewable Natural Gas
Legislative Outlook
The Pipeline
Marketing Matters
At Last
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - intro
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - ebelly1
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - ebelly2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - A Vision from Our Industry: Listen, Define, Allocate, Execute
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - cover2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 3
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 4
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 5
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 6
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 7
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - First Person
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 9
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - APGA Events
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Q&A: Chairman Chatterjee
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Furnace Rule Update
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 13
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Delivering the Needs of Customers Through Legislative Action
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 15
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Reaching Your Future Customers
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 17
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Whistling In The Dark: Shortcomings of Natural Gas Indices Persist
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 19
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 20
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Growth in Renewable Natural Gas
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 22
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Legislative Outlook
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 24
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - The Pipeline
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - Marketing Matters
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 27
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - At Last
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 29
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - 30
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - cover3
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - cover4
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert1
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert3
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert4
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert5
THE SOURCE - Winter 2017 - outsert6
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